IRENA’s Year in Review 2016

Entering 2017 presents an ideal moment to review IRENA’s progress and what better way to do that than to take account of what has occurred in the year just finished— and so here we present to you IRENA’s year in review.

Before we start, in case you missed it, you can catch-up on what the Agency achieved in 2014 and 2015, in IRENA’s At A Glance.

But now without further ado, let’s travel through the last 12 months and take a look at IRENA’s activities and accomplishments in 2016. Continue reading IRENA’s Year in Review 2016

Winners of IRENA’s Photo Competition

In April, to celebrate IRENA’s fifth anniversary, the Agency launched its first ever international photo competition. The entry requirements were broad and the rules simple: submit a photo demonstrating “the promise and power of renewable energy as the solution to a wide range of global, national and local challenges,” and it’ll be judged it on its story, originality and artistic merit, quality, and dramatic impact.

And the prize? The winner would win a trip to Abu Dhabi to attend the seventh session of IRENA’s Assembly, in January 2017. The top five photos would all be exhibited at the Assembly where they’d be seen by thousands of energy professionals from around the world. Continue reading Winners of IRENA’s Photo Competition

Simulating Bioenergy Potential

It is estimated that 1.4 billion hectares of unused arable land is available for cultivating potential bioenergy sources — crops, forests, residues, and livestock. Identifying and figuring out how to utilise this limited amount of space effectively and efficiently, is one challenge hampering the development of bioenergy production. But a shifting urgency to address climate change, and improved data sharing and analysis, means that the barriers holding bioenergy back, are giving way.

A new IRENA online simulator, developed in partnership with the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, and Valbiom gives its users the ability to estimate the potential yields of bioenergy produced anywhere in the world, and is now looking to the public to help it validate its data and make it better. Continue reading Simulating Bioenergy Potential

Pay-As-You-Go Solar Systems in Rural Senegal Give Access to Electricity

In the rural village of Salémata, located in the Kédougou region of southern Senegal, 10-year old Omar and his parents used to spend money on costly kerosene and low quality solar torches for basic lighting needs in their house. The kerosene and torches did not provide light for the whole evening, making studying at night a challenge for Omar. Omar’s parents then purchased a pay-as-you-go solar system in hopes that it could solve their lighting and energy problems. Since then, Omar is able to complete his homework every night and has improved his performance at school. And when his homework is done, now he can even watch some football games on TV.

The pay-as-you-go system Omar’s family purchased is made by Touba Solar Rama, a company that is supported by an Entrepreneurship Support Facility established by IRENA and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. Based at the International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering in Burkina Faso, the facility provides advisory assistance to small and medium-sized renewable energy entrepreneurs in West Africa. Continue reading Pay-As-You-Go Solar Systems in Rural Senegal Give Access to Electricity

Green Gold: Growing Jet Fuel in the Desert

Thirty kilometres from the bustle of downtown Abu Dhabi, lies a remarkable undertaking that could one day change the environmental impact of air travel.

Set on a two-hectare farm down the road from the IRENA Headquarters building, a pilot project conducted by Masdar Institute’s Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC) is bringing private sector firms together to answer ‘is it possible to create a sustainable jet-powering biofuel?’ Continue reading Green Gold: Growing Jet Fuel in the Desert

Coalition for Advancing Low Carbon Fuels Launches at COP22

A massive scale-up in renewable energy deployment is vital to fully decarbonize the global energy system by 2050, which is required to meet the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and keep global temperature rise to 2 degrees celsius. At the COP22 Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, Morocco, a 20-country coalition launched a new initiative to help decarbonize the transport and industry sectors through modern, sustainable low-carbon biofuels as alternatives to fossil fuels.

The Biofuture Platform aims to contribute to the global fight against climate change, nurturing solutions that can help countries reach their Nationally Determined Contribution, as well as to contribute towards the Sustainable Development Goals. The 20-country coalition comprises of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Netherlands, Morocco, Mozambique, Paraguay, Philippines, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America and Uruguay. Continue reading Coalition for Advancing Low Carbon Fuels Launches at COP22

Scaling up Renewable Energy on Small Island Developing States: The Initiative for Renewable Island Energy

As early supporters of renewable energy technologies Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have played a pivotal role in demonstrating the role of renewables in achieving the Sustainable Development and Climate agendas. They know that overcoming reliance on fossil fuels will increase both their resiliency and economic viability.

To assist SIDS in achieving their renewable energy goals, the Republic of the Maldives as the current chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), has just announced the creation of an Initiative for Renewable Island Energy (IRIE). The announcement came during the high-level session for the Global Climate Action Agenda at COP22. Its purpose will be to support SIDS in their implementation of the renewable energy and energy efficiency components of their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to implement the Paris Agreement. IRIE is setting an initial goal of mobilising at least $1 million in grant and concessionary financing by 2020 for concrete implementation on the ground. Continue reading Scaling up Renewable Energy on Small Island Developing States: The Initiative for Renewable Island Energy

Covering the latest news from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and developments in renewables.